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GOP presses for vote on PPP legislation

GOP presses for vote on PPP legislation
© Greg Nash

Thirty-five House Republicans on Thursday called for Democratic leaders to bring up a bill to free up funding and extend the Paycheck Protection Program through the end of the year. 

The request comes as Democrats negotiate over a larger COVID-19 relief bill with the White House that includes funding for the program, which is intended to help small businesses retain workers and survive the pandemic.

Top Republicans have repeatedly argued that they should authorize the relief to prevent further job loss and to help businesses stay afloat while a larger measure is being negotiated. Democratic leadership has said they don’t believe passing funding for certain priorities piecemeal is the right approach, arguing the gravity of the pandemic calls for ample funding in an array of areas to combat the fallout. 

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyMcCarthy sits for 'Green Eggs and Ham' reading: I 'still like' Dr. Seuss Chamber of Commerce clarifies stance on lawmakers who voted against election certification Watch live: McCarthy holds press briefing MORE (R-Calif.) alleged the only reason negotiations began again was to prevent moderate Democrats from signing a GOP discharge petition. 

“The only reason why she [Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump White House associate tied to Proud Boys before riot via cell phone data Greene sounds off on GOP after Hill story 'Bloody Sunday' to be commemorated for first time without John Lewis MORE (D-Calif.)] has any movement is because Republicans put up a discharge petition," he said.

The House is now expected to vote on a $2.2 trillion relief bill that is not backed by the White House and Republicans.

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinBiden cautious in making Trump tax returns decision Biden brings back bipartisan meetings at the White House On The Money: Schumer urges Democrats to stick together on .9T bill | Collins rules out GOP support for Biden relief plan | Powell fights inflation fears MORE presented a $1.6 trillion counteroffer to Pelosi on Wednesday, but a divide remains between parties on a number of key issues. 

The Democrat-led bill is not expected to see movement in the upper chamber.